Sparf v. United States

(Redirected from 156 U.S. 51)

Sparf v. United States
by John Marshall Harlan

Sparf v. United States, 156 U.S. 51 (1895), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that federal judges were not required to inform jurors of their inherent ability to judge the law in a case. The decision asserted that the court could mislead jurors and inform them that they could only judge the facts in bringing a general verdict. The decision was rendered by a five to four judge margin, with two strong dissenting opinions. The case distinguished itself from earlier precedent in Georgia v. Brailsford mandating that jurors be informed by the court of their right to judge the case's facts and law (jury nullification). Excerpted from Sparf v. United States on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

156 U.S. 51

Sparf  v.  United States

F. J. Kierce, for plaintiffs in error.

Asst. Atty. Gen. Conrad, for the United States.

Mr. Justice HARLAN delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).